Auto Hail Damage Repair Cost: What’s the Right Price?

A hailstorm rolled through the front range on Friday, 6/26/2020. The intense storm set off national weather alerts and produced pea-to-golfball size hail stones. One storm dropped up to 5.5 inch large pieces of hail in Castle Rock.

hail in colorado

Even if you’ve only had quarter-sized hail stones in your area, it may still pose significant damage – small hailstones can reach speeds of 20 mph and usually come down in larger quantities than large hail, creating a higher risk for damage. 

We have already seen extensive damage from the Friday storm to the tune of $7,000 to $8,000 in damage, and our customers showed us photos of the hail damage was no larger than a grape.

If you were caught in the recent hailstorm, you might be wondering how you can fix all the dents and cracks or broken parts (windshields, taillights, etc.) and how much is the right price for hail damage repair to cost.

Avg. Hail Damage Repair

According to our database of over 20 years fixing hail damaged cars, after withstanding the force of a hailstorm, the average cost of auto repairs is $6,543. It could vary between $2,511 and $16,875, depending on the true extent of the damage.

We wrote an in-depth article explaining the ins and outs of a hail damage estimate. Click here to learn how hail damage is assessed on a car.

To understand the hail damage repair cost, it’s helpful to first learn how hail damage is fixed on a car.

How to fix hail damage on a car?

Hail damage is complicated for several reasons. The storm is made up of heavy ice balls formed in the upper atmosphere, it falls at a fast rate, and is blown by severe winds.

When they fall on your car, they can create hundreds of dents on the surface and sometimes do so with a force great enough to crack or break windshields, car windows, and dent chrome or plastic moldings.

Dent repair methods:

The biggest component of auto hail damage repair cost is how much work is needed to fix the dents. Repairing a couple of dents is going to be cheaper than fixing hundreds of them. The severity of hail damage will determine if a car panel can be repaired or an entirely new replacement part is needed.

When it comes to hail dent repair, there are typically two professional methods:

Paintless Dent Repair – the modern and golden standard of hail dent removal

paintless dent repair

If you are searching for hail damage repair, you’ll likely find a lot of information on paintless dent repair (PDR), the primary and most cost-effective method to fix hail damage on vehicles.

As the name suggests, PDR doesn’t use paint or filler to fill the dents. Instead, the PDR technician takes the car apart as needed to gain access to the backside of the panel, and uses metal rods to massage the metal to its original, flat shape.

It’s a slow and tedious process, but by gently massaging the metal to its original form, it can save the original factory paint, and in turn your vehicle’s paint warranty from the factory.

Conventional Dent Repair – Filling, Sanding, & Repainting

The conventional repair method first determines whether it’s worth repairing a panel, or it’s cheaper to replace it with a new one.

If conventional repair can fix the original panel, or it more cost effective than replacing it, the paint & body technicians often use a sander to sand off the paint to the metal and then fills in the low areas with a putty such as Bondo.

The specialist will then sand the are down until it’s perfect smooth and flush with the original panel, and will then spray the panel with a primer, base coat, clear coat, and is often sanded again through out the process.

This method can cost thousands of dollars and take months to finish. 

This much painting and sanding is intrusive to any vehicle, and it can significantly decrease the trade value of a car.

Differences between PDR and Conventional Dent Repair

  • PDR is significantly more affordable than conventional repair because there is no need to use paint and fillers.
  • PDR helps maintain the trade value and keeps the vehicle’s factory paint warranty in tact.
  • PDR is more environmentally friendly since it does not require re-spraying of the car and harsh chemicals.
  • PDR takes less time to finish than conventional repair, as PDR techs are simply fixing the dents on the existing panels and reassembling the car.

Many specialty repair shops today can cost-effectively fix hail damage on most vehicles, and if you find one that specializes in hail damage repair, your process can be much smoother and more enjoyable.

DIY Dent Repair

When your car’s been hit in a hailstorm, you’ll be dealing with potentially hundreds of dents. The last thing you want to do is try your hand at DIY repairs, as PDR technicians take YEARS to learn and perfect this craft.

There is no YouTube video that can compete with years of experience on every year/make/model of car out there and all the varying strengths of metal we encounter.

We strongly suggest you call a skilled professional who can provide the correct documentation to your auto insurance and quickly get your vehicle back in a pre-storm condition.

There are many times where people will bring cars to us that they have attempted to fix themselves, and many times they have damaged the panel so badly, that at that point, it is unfixable.

Will Auto Insurance Pay for Hail Damage Repair?

There is some good news: your auto insurance may have you covered – that is, if you have comprehensive coverage (NOT liability-only or collision insurance).

Comprehensive claims cover “Acts of Nature” and do not affect your rates whatsoever.

If you have full coverage, you likely have a comprehensive policy included in that, which means you can have the damage fixed and it won’t increase your insurance premiums.

Sometimes, the minor hail damage may not be enough to meet your deductible, while some severe hail damage, can total even a brand-new car.

To determine whether the car can be repaired or totaled, make sure to talk to a professional hail repair company.

StormWise employs reputable and experienced paintless dent repair technicians that can talk you through your options and help file an insurance claim.

OUR 2-Cents on Insurance Coverage

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), Colorado had the second-highest number of hail claims in the US from 2016-2018.

If you live in Colorado Springs (or other cities in Colorado), it’s essential to have comprehensive coverage to prevent you from paying for hail damage.

Insurance companies sometimes prevent individuals from purchasing last-minute coverage right before a disastrous weather event is predicted to occur.

If you just moved to beautiful Colorado from another state and haven’t checked your auto insurance coverage for a long time, it’s a good idea to review it now.

If your vehicle has been damaged in a hailstorm, you should have it inspected and repaired immediately. Most insurance companies will have a statute of limitations for hail damage, so to take advantage of your auto insurance policy, have the automobile inspected and repaired as soon as possible. 

When you drive around with what the insurance company calls “unrepaired damage,” you’re already running a risk. If you get into an accident and your car is a total loss, the insurance can net off the amount of unrepaired damage that you have on the car, which would in turn decrease the payout you would receive for the total loss.

This can be extremely disastrous if you owe more on the loan than what the insurance pays you out! Even if you have “gap coverage” through your lienholder, that DOES NOT cover any difference in the insurance company’s payout due to unrepaired damage.

If you are to file a claim (perhaps for the hail damage from Friday’s storm), keep in mind that your car won’t be the only one affected by the hailstorm. It may take longer than usual to process your insurance claim and repair your vehicle, but it’s more important than ever to act quickly to ensure you repair the damage quickly.

Quick Turnaround and Virtual Estimate at StormWise

Most hailstorms occur from May to July in Colorado but sometimes start early in April and can last until September. 

When there’s a huge hailstorm, automotive body shops can get backed up for months! Not only will they have a waiting list, but the repair times will extend extensively.

The difference with StormWise is that 99% of the time, we can fix a car with paintless dent repair within two weeks* of the drop-off date, and we rarely operate on a waiting list for hail repair services.

Chat Online to Get a real-time Virtual Estimate

StormWise virtual estimate online chat

It is stressful for many Colorado natives to get a hail repair appointment right after a damaging storm. To make it easy and convenient, we’re offering a virtual estimate via online chat.

Just head to our website and start an online conversation with one of our agents. We’ll answer all your questions and take a look at your car using a video chat to give you custom pricing right there!

*Repair time depends on the amount of damage, the speed of the insurance in approving any estimates or supplements we may need to move forward, and whether or not there will be bodywork required. StormWise commits to giving every effort to getting cars in and out at the quickest and most efficient timeframe available.

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